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tv   [untitled]    July 14, 2011 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT

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estimated approximately if this ordinance went to the voters in november and went into effect that we would lose $1.4 million of the $13.7 million of budget. the elimination of the program and a 10% reduction and how do you think that would impact housing. even if they refuse the housing the checks will be reduced. >> if they refuse the shelter bed it is written into the initiative that they do get the grant reduced. there is nothing in the initiative -- >> excuse me. we will have time for members of the public to speak and you will have your time if you want to contest the statements made here today. >> the initiative defines what counts as a benefit and if shelter was refused we would reduce the grant.
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there is no provision in the current ordinance that says that we have the authority to reduce someone's grant if we offer housing and they decline it. and the reason that we can do that with shelter, remember this is an entitlement. the state of california requires county to provide support to single adults with county money. you apply for aid and you get it. if someone refuses shelter and they come back the next day and say i want it, we have it for them. that is why we can reduce. that benefit is available to them and they are entirelied to it. on the housing side if they say no they are still entitled to that housing. but we are not going to keep a vacant unit open. that unit will be filled by someone else who needs that housing.
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that entitlement is then removed for that individual. that is why we can't reduce the grant. >> in the report they saw with the graphics said if an individual turns down the housing that is offered their check is still reduced. >> is this the controller's audit? >> yeah. it was in the audit. >> in 2008? >> 2008. there was a graph that showed, you know, a visual of how an individual going through the system. >> supervisor, i did see that actually. and it is an error. i read it recently. >> ok. one other question that i had, is if we have a balance of reserve beds, set aside beds and unset aside beds appropriate given the population and the need from disabled clients, veterans, why is it that we have to have set
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asides at all? if the current balance is correct and there is not a greater need from seniors or veterans or disabled homeless folks for beds why not eliminate set asides? >> supervisor, i may have misspoke or you may have misunderstood what i said. i am not claiming that the shelter system as it currently is either -- it will provide beds for every senior and disabled and veteran that needs it. nor am i saying that it is necessarily equal access. i am saying we need to set aside the beds to implement the law and the intent of the law. we need to set aside the beds because when we get our applicants every day we have to be able to provide them a benefit. if that is not available to them in the form of shelter bed or services we have to give them the full cash grant. if we have to cash out a client because there is no benefit available to them, we are back
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to care not cash. we set aside 450 or so beds, we constantly monitor that and we returned almost 100 beds to that population. we constantly look at it. last month we returned another 15 i believe to the general population. we recognize that there is a stress there, but there are also other factors that play that prevent folks from getting beds they need. we recently changed a policy because shelter monitoring complt asked us or thought it would be a good thing to extend the days someone can stay in a shelter bed. we went from 7-14 days. now an individual who is not in a care not cash bed can stay up to 150 days. we can have an argument about the merits of that policy, but
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you can't argue what happens, those beds get locked up. so there are fewer beds turning over because folks are in long-term stays. that may be a good thing for that population but when someone tries to get a bed in the morning, they may be locked up. but there are long-term beds someone has been in 120 or 130 days. so that is contributing to the problem as well. >> i appreciate that you have a very challenging issue you are trying to address through multiple policies. there is no city addressing homelessness very well. these are one of the many things we are attempting in order to address this issue. actually what you just said brings me to my last question. is the reduction of 300 or a little bit more dollars, when you weigh it against a senior or disabled or veteran individual that is waking up at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning to
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wait in line for hours for beds to open up, there is a give and take there. do you think that give and take is worth it? >> well, i think what is not worth it is waiting in line at 3:00 in the morning. the beds are available in the afternoon. there are very few beds available -- >> i am sorry with the members of the public. i appreciate every's passion and enthusiasm. we would like to give the respect to the gentleman i asked this question to. >> thanks supervisor. i appreciate it. the bulk of the beds because of the way the system is operates now. it is governed by policies that we set out in partnership with the community, and they can always be changed. the bulk of the beds are released around 4:30. the vets have their reserved, hot team has their reserved and folks who have been in beds for
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a very long time get to stay there. there are not a lot of beds available in the morning. not a lot come open in the afternoon. but you are probably releasing 60-90 beds or more. so, the notion of them waiting at 3:00 in the morning, what we need to do as a city and community is to better educate folks that the best way to get a bed, given the current configuration might be to come in the afternoon. >> my understanding is that people wake up in the morning to get their name on the wait list so when they do open up. >> it depends where they are. they could get a wrist band and come back, i believe mission does it differently with a list. it depends. i want to go back to the notion around seniors and veterans. unless they are undocumented, they are not eligible because they have a higher cash
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benefit. i am not go to argue that $830 is enough to get a unit in san francisco. it is close, but you won't have a lot left over. but it does allow you to get a shelter bed for a couple of days, and you can see that. but again, because a lot of the beds are locked up for long-term stays, that flexibility is removed a bit. >> i understand that. regardless of whether it is a larger amount, these individuals still try to enter into the shelter system. >> absolutely. >> that need definitely exists. >> and the reality is that we do not have enough shelter beds for our homeless population and don't have any intonings add 2,000 shelter beds. we are moving towards adding 2,000 housing units but not 2,000 shelter beds. there will be a nand for the beds and obviously not everyone
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will get the beds. i want to clarify one thing about the funding. the $1.4 million reduction that you mentioned is something that would happen on day one if it were to pass because we would immediately provide cash to the 380 so folks in shelter. that is the immediate hit. the long-term would be what we think would happen on manual basis over time. >> this is something that has come up to our office at lot. what would be wrong with having all cap clients go through the same reservation process every homeless individual has to go to? >> because the shelter bed is their entitlement. they are legally entitled to that bed. if they are in the general mix and it is random we are violating the law. >> what if once they got the bed their checks were reduced. everyone goes into the same system. >> then we are cashing out. >> right. >> and that is inconsistent
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with the intent of care not cash. >> but in the balance of serving all of our homeless individuals, i understand the financial thing. but thinking more from an ethical perspective in terms of how we serve our homeless individuals what, would be wrong with reducing the checks once they get a bed? >> i will argue that it is bad public policy. it returns cash to a system. we knew that system was not effectively using taxpayers dollars. wrong or right, we can have that policy debate. i will argue that it is bad public policy. >> thank you so much. thanks for being here. thanks to my colleagues. i have a great deal of respect for my colleagues, i do think
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it is a big mistake. i think how we address our homeless population and the services that we provide has been a problem for san francisco for a long time. care not cash has been a success by most objective measures. and i think to risk dismantling that would be a huge mistake here. i appreciate my colleagues and respect them but think it is a move in the wrong direction. the real intrigue is whether or not there is enough political pressure taken off the bat. >> and i just wanted to state that i do appreciate everyone's engagement on this issue. it wasn't the intent of our was to dismantle care not cash. we also see the success of this program. the big question is the equity amongst our homeless individuals and how we give the preferences. but we do appreciate it.
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at the time we will open it up for public comment. i have cards in front of me. we give two minutes. i will call the first 10 speakers. and then if you can please line it up closely to that order.
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>> if there r individuals that have the same time restriction please use it and step up. two minutes, please. >> ok. hi my name is katherine ward, i am part of your care not cash. i do not oppose of the care not cash expect for that i can't pay my phone bill and i am not able to speak to my children at the end of the month. but the part that this is supposed to be part of our housing, we are not allowed toilet paper, no hand soap or hand sanitizer. if you are giving us this money or taking it from us are we not allowed these basic needs. now we are given a 7:00 p.m. curfew to where we can't go with my husband and see him
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past 7:00 at night because you are fraternizing in the facility but they do not want us standing outside. won't let us go a couple of blocks away. you get a 15-minute break. if you are not in your bed and not on the elevator, in your bed by 9:00 you are out until 5:00 in the morning. two people were thrown out two nights ago for being in the elevator instead of their bed. like today if i am not there until 5:00 it is gone. the stipulations given to us while you are taking our money are sometimes unliveable. no toilet paper? no hand soap. these are unsanitary. these are things that must be given. salt and pepper can be understandable and covered by our food stamps, but all of the basic needs we are told we would be given are not being looked at. if that would be looked at, please continue to take our
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money. you are giving us housing and your caseworkers are helping us. if you are going to take our money can we please have toilet paper and hand soap. >> thank you. >> i am also a resident of next door. i am a recipient of your care not cash. i understand that the money goes towards my shelter. that is ok. but there are things that we are restricted to. we are treated like juveniles to where we can't do this and we are not allowed to do that. monitors can't decide in our 15-minute break where we stand. stand in front of the building. no. across the street, no. neighbors are complaining. we are being shuffled for 15 minutes three times a night and in the day when we are not allowed around the shelter. it is an issue that i am paying
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for. the $59, i am trying to look for work. if i go on the computer and there is a job in emeryville how am i go to keep buying hygiene products and then go apply for a job. how can i go to san jose when i can apply for a job there that i am qualified for. there are places i cannot go and i am restricted because of the money that is not given to me. i mean when i got into this system in february, my intake worker, i asked her about the pace program. when i got my $6 more that you are go to get is not worth going through the pace program. two months ago housing came up because we go for our monthly
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review. housing was available for a pace participant. she looked at me and said i'm sorry. i am homeless. what good does that do me? if i went through the program, like i asked, i could have gotten the housing giving you another bed for the shelter. i am stuck there. >> thank you. speaker. >> good afternoon supervisors. i am here to support care not cash, because it was voted in by 60% of the voters in 2002. the cash that is given to these people, at that time when they get it, they are a fragile
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population. there are a lot of those people for whose their autonomy is a liability and they can't direct the funds because of the problems that they have to the resources that would really help them. by giving them the cash, there are so many problems that all you have to do is to go and look at the check cashing place at 7th and market two minutes after midnight on the 1st and the 15th and watch the predators trying to lure and victimize this population, which happens all of the time. and also the people coming in from other places because there is not any sort of comparable cash program being offered at any surrounding community or county. it is a program where we are really giving cash to people we are underwriting a lot of people's addiction and we are
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underwriting a lot of the homelessness that is going on. these resources are being given to these people. and granted, there are restrictions for them. but there is a process that we have to be accountable for the cash that is out there and being given to them. it is coming out of our pockets. there may be unused shelter beds because some are identified as chronicly homeless. but it is overkill. like throwing out the baby with the bath water. i do not think this initiative should appear on the november ballot. >> thank you. thank you. >> hi. years ago i worked for the department of social services and their community services division in china town and tender loin. and part of the basic social
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work concept is the clients' right of self determination. and that is very important. you can provide things that make it easier for clients to do things. but they have the choice. and this is becoming a paternalistic system where you decide the client can't handle money. they have to be told what to do. they will all use it on drugs if you let them have money. and i think that is false and the wrong principle for people. and i also remember that there was a group a couple of years ago of seniors who wanted shelters because the reason they were strong advocates for the house that just opened up last year on golden gate because they wanted that to be all shelters. the reason it turned out is that when they got permanent housing through the department
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of social services, they felt the rent was too high that they would not have enough money for food and other necessities that they needed during the month if they had to pay the high rent. i think it would be worth looking at whether or not our attitudes towards people these days. are we being paternalistic in a new way. and also, what are the causes that is likely. two people just told you that they can't do simple things because of restrictions. there is a real reason behind why some of these things do not work. >> thank you. >> and i think there is a shelter and i think i am going out of my head.
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over you. i see you each morning but you just walk past me. you don't even see that i exist. go on now to my shelter. there is an empty bed. shelter bed. and all the city leaves are brown. and the city hall budget skies are gray. and i came to city hall and i wanted to say we would be safe and warm. if we had a shelter better today. california shelter dreaming on such a winter day california
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winter shelter dreaming. on such a winter shelter budget day. >> good afternoon supervisors, my name is mark barnes. i am a resident of district 6. i live a couple of blocks north of market street in a heavily populated homeless populated area. it was interesting to hear that most of the empty shelter beds are in bay view. sounds to me like they need to find a facility smaller there and rent something north of market that a small facility, put a few more beds there. what we basically have here is a system akin to segregation.
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irregardless of the number of beds empty and what have you and care not cash. it is a done deal as far as i am concerned. akin to segregation, we have unequal access which is inequality in a city supposedly devoted to equality. according to the figures that i heard today, you know, let's additional homeless people sleep indoors every night and protects all housing funded by g.a. when it comes to the seniors, disabled, vets, then i think that it passes a line. it is not just unfair at that
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point, it is inhumane. and just because we passed care not cash does not mean that we can't do remedial work on that. so, i want to thank all of the supervisors who are sponsoring this legislation. thank you. >> thank you mr. barnes. >> my name is nancy cross. and i am a senior. i have been in the shelter system for over two years. and why is it two years? because the shelter system is designed to make it very difficult for anybody like myself to get a reasonable place in succession. the city has adopted an ordinance about smoking that
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the regular hotels for tourists, 75% of the beds are reserved for non-smokers. but what about the people that are trying to get out of the shelters? i had a scientific education and i know the harm for smoking. i don't smoke but i am forced to go in and out of shelters which maintains a perpet -- secondhand smoke. and people going in and out of the shelter and out what they breathe and smoke in the shelter. they can go 24 hours a day. it used to be 8 hours until some of the staff. the staff is very much exposed. the job seems to be going to smokers because other people can't stand it. they have a program against
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alcoholism and all of the drugs but they never say a bad word about smoking in the shelter system because the city is getting so much tax money from that it is supporting the children services and the hospital emergency rooms so they don't help people prevent smoking by reasonable amount of education. they just say well, if you decided to stop come to our general hospital and we will give you private treatment. now we are making the disaster of homelessness continue by making conditions of ill health at the shelter and the seniors even trying to get a non-smoking place to live in at the shelter. >> thank you very much.
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>> >> thank you. we will certainly take a look at those documents. >> i'm sorry. thank you. i just want to say on behalf of me and my coalition, coalition of homelessness, we love you. and we admire you ask we thank you so much. you are beautiful inside and out. i would just like to say too god bless these women, men and children who are in the process of obtaining shelter. i would like to say if it were not the same people none of the services that help them now would be in service anyways. and what i think the city of san francisco would want is a logical solution for a fair share initiative. the shelters in housing under the fair share initiative, all housing will be preserved. the initiative fixes a flaw in
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the law that caused dozen of empty shelter beds every night. some people pay roughly $300 to get a residential hotel room while other people pay the same amount for a shelter bed. that is not fair. feel free to talk about your own experience with shelter housing and how they might be changed by the fair shelter initiative. have you getting a shelter bed because you are not on caap? have you gotten a shelter bed and seen other beds around you empty? have you received cash but had to get by on $2 a day because you were paying rent for a shelter? these are things the public should hear. i just want to say that i am totally for fair shelter initiative. and i am not for risheseness and human people's rights. i think we should all live by s: